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DDO's Turbine Partners With Notorious SuperRewards 121

Zarrot writes "In the next step for their Free 2 Play model, Turbine Entertainment, publisher of Dungeon and Dragons: Online, Lord of the Rings: Online, and Asheron's Call, has partnered with notorious 'lead generation company' SuperRewards. Initial testing by forum users shows that just accessing the page without clicking on any offers sends the user's email and game login in clear text to SuperRewards. Reports of new spam and fresh malware infections on test systems are already being reported on the company's forums. Is the Zynga business model the future of Internet gaming?"
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DDO's Turbine Partners With Notorious SuperRewards

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  • "Is the Zynga business model the future of internet gaming?" No sir, the unmitigated success of WoW is what everyone is going to try (almost always unsuccessfully) to copy for many years to come.
    • I knew WOW was the future of gaming when I first heard of the Compuserve game for C64. Although I figured it'd be played like Pool of Radience, Final Fantasy 1, or Wasteland.

      There's no real points in life for a guy who predicts the future like that. You almost have to do the whole thing solo. And boy did I try. If you want the years to fly by fruitlessly, try cramming yourself in a room and writing a MMOG solo.

      My current game is going to be on the Zynga model, but people getting into the game accept
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        You do know that the Zynga model is pushing scams on your customers right? It's abusing the naive and defenceless in society. Nothing wrong with micropayments, but Zynga is unadulterated evil ... is your sig just for show and are you a sociopath?

        http://techcrunch.com/2009/11/06/zynga-scamville-mark-pinkus-faceboo/ [techcrunch.com]

      • Re:Nope, WoW is (Score:4, Interesting)

        by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:13PM (#31841586) Journal

        I think mixing subscription play with micropayments is sort of double dipping that players won't appreciate.

        It's not so much that as that it slowly erodes the actual gameplay, let alone the immersion. I play this game [nexustk.com], and ever since they've added an item shop, people are wandering around Ancient Korea with sunglasses, because they can charge for them (useless item, pure decoration) in the item shop. The idea was that this wouldn't affect gameplay, but of course, it creates games all its own -- there's now an official runway competition to decide whose avatar has the best style, which inevitably entails lots of item-shop items. They've also recently (and kind of inevitably) introduced things which directly affect gameplay, like extra storage for crafting items...

        Now, the problem is, I don't know if this actually makes a difference in the business sense. I mean, as a player, I absolutely appreciate what you're doing, but I'm also going to keep playing Nexus because of all the stuff I have there, and the community I'm involved with -- basically, because of network effect and a strange sort of lock-in that all MMOs inherently have.

        • I just posted a rather flamey rant over at Kongregate, blasting the recent flood of "pay to pwn" games that directly encourage players to drop tens to hundreds of dollars on in-game items and perks, as was once contained to the mental diarrhea that is Second Life. I find the whole concept very offensive, to bring real money into what is supposed to be a fantasy escape from the daily pressures of reality. Doubly offensive that it is happening on a site that thrives on indie game developers and experimental

          • directly encourage players to drop tens to hundreds of dollars on in-game items and perks, as was once contained to the mental diarrhea that is Second Life.

            I actually don't have nearly as much of a problem with it in Second Life. After all, most of our real currency is imaginary, so it doesn't bother me that imaginary things can have value.

            But then, Second Life isn't a game so much as a medium, and this kind of shit tends to ruin games.

            where the micropayments are supposed to be for "tipping" the developers,

            I don't know about that -- seems they could always set up a PayPal "donate" button. Otherwise, I do like that I actually get something out of the micropayments.

            It just becomes an issue when that "something" is a decided gameplay

      • CrazyJim1, YOU SO CRAZY!

        Does your Zynga game have katanas with rockets in the hilt?

    • Re:Nope, WoW is (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:34PM (#31840678) Journal
      I think you are wrong... The initial success of Wow was for a large part due to being at the right place at the right time, after that simple momentum took over. People play WoW because their friends play WoW. That is how it works for all sites or software with a strong social element; it's not quite winner-takes-all but a single dominating entity does tend to emerge.

      Attempts to copy WoW or trying to copy WoW's success is almost certainly doomed. I remember the attempt to bring the by far most successful MMO of the time (Lineage) from Korea to the West and making it the most succesful one here has resulted in failure, for the same reasons. What worked then and there is not so likely to succeed in displacing the current market leaders here and now. That doesn't mean people should or will stop developing MMOs altogether, they can and will still be profitable to operate without beating WoW's subscription numbers. But if you are aiming to beat WoW, prepare for disappointment.

      Developing and running an MMO is a very expensive and complex proposition, and the returns may not be all that good. Quick buck artists are not going to turn to MMOs even with the lure of WoW's $1 billion + revenue; they know they are not likely to make even a fraction of that with a lot of work. Emulating Zynga's model seems a much more fertile field, it is still new enough for early players to make a killing with far less effort, so I expect this business model to gain a foothold in the near future. I am sad to see a decent company like Turbine partnering with these scumbags, but I expect more of them may fall if the revenue is large enough.

      The good news is that, at least here in the Netherlands and Europe, regulators are increasingly becoming wary of such scams. The most notorious and lucrative ones foisting expensive SMS subscriptions on unsuspecting kids are already being addressed effectively, and privacy watchdogs take a dim view of teasing information from unwary visitors. Consumers are becoming increasingly wary of these scams as well, and I expect this wariness to increase sharply as these scams become more prevalent, and more people get stung by them. The Zynga business model is one that will gain a foothold in the near future, but I expect it to be a short-lived success.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 )

        I highly doubt you are right. You've got three problems with that logic:

        1) Just because something can't reach WoW's level doesn't mean it isn't successful. You don't have to take over the world to have a business worth doing. You just have to make a non-trivial amount of profit. There are plenty of other MMOs out there that have enough players to continue to operate, and develop new expansions. Everquest 1 and 2 are still running and releasing expansions, Eve Online, City of Heros, Dark Age of Camelot, Warh

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 )

          I wonder if Brad McQuaid wakes up some days and kicks himself repeatedly.

          All EQ had to do to be WoW was to be a teensy bit easier. But they fell in love with the 1% of hardcore players and repeatedly screwed over the 99% of customers who couldn't afford to play 14 hour chunks.

          Don't get me wrong- I thought WoW was too easy when it started but that difficulty level was where the money was.

          Gawd EQ was hard with corpse runs, losing ALL your gear, losing a week's play worth of EXP in an hour if things went badl

          • And I hope every day Brad McQuaid wakes up and someone IS kicking him repeatedly. Customer service, my ass. I've never played a Sony/Verant game since, and never will. Nor anything that dickhead is involved with.

            • It was my main game for over 3 years (a spot recently taken over by City of Heroes as I've gone back for my 4th major run at it) and in all that time, I went into Veshan (red dragon raid) one time, and Plane of Fear (god of fear raid) one time, with my level 50 necro. And that was towards the end of my run. Went back later after cap was raised to 60, and then skipped town permanently around level 52-ish.

              I often said on their own boards, before they closed them due to too much bitching, that they succeeded

          • by Synn ( 6288 )

            I wonder if Brad McQuaid wakes up some days and kicks himself repeatedly.

            I doubt it. He was the driving force behind Vanguard which flopped completely because it was too hard core. Players of that game repeatedly told him he was going in the wrong direction of design, but he wouldn't listen since he knew best.

            WoW did a lot of things right long before other MMO's even considered it. Lack of a death penalty being just one of them.

            • by meglon ( 1001833 )
              Part of the reason it flopped was it was released 4-6 months too early, because of Sony. When it went live, even on high end machines, it was like the beta bug catcher was still on.. lag was atrocious, and the game was suffering horribly for it.

              Yes, he also didn't listen to his beta testers. Worse, his devs were the rudest shits this side of Verants cs crap. The customer may not always be right, but they're never "wrong" (to their face). In 988/Verant, then Sigils view, the customer was not only alwa
        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          No matter what, most MMO games will always be niche markets. Problem, playing the same game over and over and over again, really doesn't do it for most people. Learning new games playing them for a while and moving onto the next one is the majority market. Possible MMO might be able to stretch their market by allowing users to log in multiple different games, at different times and possible transfer their character skill level between games.

          Perhaps it was just me but I find a game starting to get boring

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          WOW had crazy numbers even in beta stages. The reason WOW had such a big launch is because the existing games were all stale and played out. EQ 2 had no pvp to mention.

          But it wasn't just the timing, you heard it again and again on guild discussion forums and the like. This was being produced by Blizzard. A company with a solid track record of killer games.

          It kept them for the reasons you state. When something new and good comes along, WOW will lose its player base just as easily. The fact is that a game tha

      • by warGod3 ( 198094 )

        Yes, there is a strong social element that is prevalent in MMOs. Yes, WoW was in the right place at the right time. Look at other MMOs that have been spawned that should have been wildly successful, but were in part possibly overshadowed by WoW or had facets of WoW that were attempted to be copied by developers and wound up ruining the game. This is just a list of the games I have played and my opinion, YMMV and all that...

        Star Wars Galaxies - Came out before WoW, however, the "geniuses" there decided to du

    • Not necessarily (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:37PM (#31840698) Journal

      Not necessarily. It seems to me like diming and quartering the users is what's winning outside of the WoW world.

      There are a _lot_ of games which live by selling in-game items for RL cash these days. It has the carrot of being theoretically free to play if you don't want to pay, and you even get a lot of leaway with the quality. People are quick to point out that it's free, even when they run into problems. And you don't need all that many people who go crazy with the purchases to more than make up for those who don't. There are people who spend thousands on having the top mounts, and the top extra enhancements on their PvP gear, and if you don't get them with the PvP, you get them when they get kicked out of endgame raids for not having enough +damage on their sword or +block on their shield.

      And the model is sadly expanding even to paid subscription MMOs.

      E.g., last time I tried EQ2, Sony was already selling a metric buttload of stuff for real currency for it, on top of needing a full subscription, and needing the Station Access expensive subscription if you want more than 4 character slots (total, not per server!), and having to buy the extra mini-expansion packs to get your extra class powers, and so on.

      E.g., STO, much as I love the game otherwise, it's starting to bother me that by now half the playable races can only be bought for "cryptic points" (read: RL money.) And so are any character slots above 3 (4 if you bought lifetime subscription) which isn't enough even to play all 3 classes on both Fed and Klingon sides. And a few more things, not all of them cosmetic. And that bonuses for buying collectors' editions and whatnot include stuff like a purple quality bridge officer, or the only point defense system in the game.

      Heck, even in single player games these days, it's getting to the point where half the content is available only by paying extra, even from day one. We're no longer even talking about expansion packs developped later, but stuff that was planned from the word "go" to be removed from the actual game and sold separately for real cash. E.g., The Sims 3 launched from day zero with more content for sale for extra money on their site, than got shipped with the game. E.g., racing games which ship with hardly any tracks _or_ cars, but you can buy the actual tracks or cars for extra cash.

      Sorry, it seems to me like that's the real direction that the gaming industry is taking, not the direction of spending as much money and manpower as WoW did.

      I guess I can't even blame them. You could spend years polishing a game, hiring people who can do at least the elementary maths to balance it, filling it with more content than the competition... and it still may or may not be a dud. Or you can just quarter and dime the players. Hmm. I can see why the latter is more popular.

      But I can't say I like it one bit.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        diming and quartering

        Boy, talk about inflation...

        (I think the phrase is "to nickel and dime.") :)

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Minwee ( 522556 )

          I think the phrase is "to nickel and dime."

          Being nickelled wasn't all that bad, but the threat of being quartered [straightdope.com] is really starting to drive people away.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Moraelin ( 679338 )

          Well, it's inflation all right. A more literal description of what they're doing is more like 2- and 5-dollaring the players (playing a federation klingon in STO is 2.4 dollars, extra character slots are 5 dollars), but that kinda doesn't roll off the tongue as nicely. Or in the case of Sony more like 5- and 10-dollaring. I guess you pay more for brand name or something ;)

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        SOE has gone even further in Star Wars Galaxies. Now most new game content is only available via loot cards in the online trading card game. You have to buy packs of cards to get the loot. . So they're charging you money to maybe (but probably not) get the in-game stuff you want. It's ridiculous. And I think it's gonna sink 'em. They've already shut down half their servers.

        Really, though, I see MMO's in a similar light in which I see reality television. Reality shows are crap. But for some reason the pub

      • Re:Not necessarily (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Aceticon ( 140883 ) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @06:23AM (#31843214)

        Anedoctal and all that but interesting in light of what you said:
        - I myself recently went back to WoW (having left almost 5 years ago because I was seriously pissed of at the direction things were taking back then) because in these days of requires-always-on-connection single player games, rootkit-like DRM and low-content-on-package-you-can-buy-the-rest-for-extra games, WoW offers the best money-per-content ratio.

        The industry is complaining about WoW monopolising gamer's time and yet they're actually reducing the relative value of their games all the while MMORPGS kept getting bigger, less grindy, more casual player friendly, catering to a larger variety of tastes, and even cheaper.

        For all the griefers, gold spammers and beggers, at this point in time, WoW + 2 Expansions + 6 months subscription is actually a beter value proposition per buck with regards to the amount of entertainment you get from it and content to explore than pretty much any other games in the market (except one or two other MMORPGs such as LOTRO).

        This is the conclusion I came to about 2 months ago and why I gave WoW another try: in that time I've spent less money and got a lot more entertainment than I would have with any major Single Player game for the PC not from the bargain bin.

        (in fact the only PC games other than MMORPGS that can compete with WoW are bargain bin oldies)

        • Does Civilization 4 count as a bargain bin oldie?
          • The original Civilization was great and maybe the best value for money game of all times for me.

            Civilization 2 was cool too and a lot of fun.

            The ones after than including the variants where sleep inducing, "been there done this 1000 times", "waste of my money" games.

      • by harl ( 84412 )

        E.g., last time I tried EQ2, Sony was already selling a metric buttload of stuff for real currency for it, on top of needing a full subscription, and needing the Station Access expensive subscription if you want more than 4 character slots (total, not per server!), and having to buy the extra mini-expansion packs to get your extra class powers, and so on.

        You're wrong on this. I've never had a Station Access account and I have more than 4 characters.

    • by Orga ( 1720130 )
      GPotato's game Allod's Online does quite an excellent job of filling in for WoW in the Free 2 Play market. And with many successful games already under their belt you can be assured they understand their market they're not a subscription game like DDO who found out they were going broke and are trying anything to stay alive. I dare WoW players to log into Allod's Online and play through the tutorial area and not wonder why the hell they're paying $15 every month for WoW. And I had 3 70's in WoW and now a
  • Spam? (Score:3, Funny)

    by ExploHD ( 888637 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @07:21PM (#31840198)
    I bet it will be great with their new Viking MMO
  • by Myji Humoz ( 1535565 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @07:21PM (#31840200)
    So what you're trying to say is, Turbine chose to get double the gold reward from the quest by gaining 3 evil alignment points? Who wouldn't do that in their shoes?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Ocker3 ( 1232550 )
      damn. I blew out the last 4 gig of my qouta d/ling that client so my gf would stop whinging about only having FPS games on my pc, and they're about to pull This kind of shite on me. Now I have to go find my old Guild Wars key! Congrats on finding a way to piss off a Whole bunch of people at once Turbine.
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Things like this is why I keep a secondary email account solely for MMOs.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      you know what ? Not only that this company has been an epic fail and raped d & d of its name online. Players cannot do what they want to do in a world online(comparision to d & d ). Players have to buy extras online now from said company. No open pvp ( my first argument) have to spend x hours in quests or fork over my cc in a micromanagement system. What does this have to do with d & d ? If I want an experience Ill go p & p in a nice group (online or find local people) simple as that. This i

      • Re:The bottom line (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Miseph ( 979059 ) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @01:03AM (#31842026) Journal

        Thank goodness there's no forced PvP. Some of us prefer not to play games where walking out of the starting town means that some max-level fuckwad will slay us just because they can. I'm all for keeping it limited to tavern brawls or CTF matches (although I've never once been able to actually do one...) and keeping it out of my gameplay. As far as I'm concerned, anybody who cries about the limit on PvP is just upset that they can't randomly kill any other player they happen to see regardless of whether or not they have any interest whatsoever in doing PvP themselves, and they can blow me.

        Anyway... ditto that on PnP, it's definitely the best option. Kids today just don't realize what they're missing by actually being in a physical room with their game friends. I sometimes legitimately fear for the future of the species.

        • > anybody who cries about the limit on PvP is just upset that they can't randomly kill any other player

          That's pretty accurate. Some games, and EQ is one of them, have (or had) specific PvP servers. Heck, they even had several varieties:

          Balls-out Everybody vs. Everybody PvP

          Realm vs. Realm of Good vs. Evil

          Race vs. Race of Hummies vs. Elves vs. Fatties vs. Shorties

          Pick your poison, it was all there.

        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          The number of PnP gamers continues to grow steadily, thanks mostly to 4e D&D and it's easy accessibility to WoW gamers. It maye be shrinking as a percentage of total gamers, but it's still growing in absolute terms.

  • by Aladrin ( 926209 )

    I'm one of the few people who liked Asheron's Call 2, apparently. I thought it was a lot better than AC1. If only they could have made the monthly events a little more exciting, I'd have played for years.

    To think they've fallen so far as to jump into bed with a notorious company like that... I'm really saddened.

  • Prefetching? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thalagyrt ( 851883 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @07:50PM (#31840420)

    The post says straight up that simply viewing the target Offer Wall sends your info out.

    Did these idiot devs not even consider that Firefox does URL prefetching and they are, due to the prefetching of their sell-my-information-to-the-devil-wall page, selling information of people who didn't even view the wall but simply viewed a page that links to their offer wall?

    This is shady at best and criminal at worst.

    • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @07:59PM (#31840470)

      Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.


    • Re:Prefetching? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Renraku ( 518261 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:37PM (#31840700) Homepage

      Malware is illegal. Anyone who partners up with and promotes malware can be held accountable for damages stemming from the drive-by download and permissionless install of said malware.

      • Re:Prefetching? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Thalagyrt ( 851883 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:44PM (#31840744)

        Yup. I was (emphasis on was) a customer of Turbine's up until about 8 months ago or so. I've already filed a complaint with the Massechusetts Attorney General as Turbine operates out of Mass. and have directly contacted Turbine as well explaining this issue.

        I'd suggest anyone else who was a customer of theirs do the same to get the message heard loud and clear. At this point, despite not having logged in for 8 months, who knows what this company will do with my information and that of other prior customers a year from now?

        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          Apparantly Turbine got the message, as they backed off from this evil. I'm not sure what they were thinking, but I suspect they just didn't realize how sleazy their partner was. I centainly don't have a problem with the principle of Turbine selling ads on their game-data web sites, but this was terribly poor judgement on how to go about doing that.

          Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo!

          Police police police police police police.

          • Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo!

            Police police police police police police.

            Damn, hadn't heard that one until now. Nice.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by t0p ( 1154575 )

      So now all would-be players should be advised to give false personal info and a throwaway gmail address when signing up to join the game. Which is a wise SOP anyway IMO.

      I know that isn't an ideal solution. But it is a solution that allows for free gameplay without the risk of compromise. An alternative, and more sensible course of action is to avoid playing these games in the first place. But that's the killjoy's solution.

    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      They're really scummy but that sounds like an issue with Firefox.

    • Did these idiot devs not even consider that Firefox does URL prefetching

      No, why should they? This is due to a design (flaw) in Firefox/Mozilla, where it will happy visit anything asked to without the user even knowing about it. I will venture a bet that most users of Firefox/Mozilla doesn't even know about this feature.

      One would expect this feature to be present in the privacy or security options, as this article points out, it can be used to grab information without people knowing it (and have been known for years to happen). But it isn't, one have to know about the feature an

    • Pre-fetching (any fetching) doesn't run the javascript. That happens on page view.
    • Did these idiot devs not even consider that Firefox does URL prefetching and they are, due to the prefetching of their sell-my-information-to-the-devil-wall page, selling information of people who didn't even view the wall but simply viewed a page that links to their offer wall?

      I assure you they thought about it, and they thought about the fact that it increases their profit drastically. Its not even a question, this was intentional.

      Its obvious they are being scammy, but ... your web browser is taking acti

      • Doesn't affect me; I use Chrome, which by all means may be more evil than Firefox, but hey, at least it doesn't prefetch stuff aside from DNS records.

        Either way, your point still stands.

  • ... ALL players ... and it will teach them a lesson.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Pfft, who are you trying to kid?
      Assassins Creed 2 sold, and it has probably the worst DRM ever.
      What makes you think people will give a monkeys flying shit about some website collecting information?
      People do that crap all the time on Facebook, Myspace and Bebo. (perhaps not so much the 3rd if it doesn't get a buyer)
      People simply don't give a damn about their privacy online, they'd happily comply with posting all their personal information just to get a free bloody iPod for crying out loud...

      All the more reas

  • AC1 players loved the game. It was my favorite MMORPG ever even though it had imbalances. Yet AC2 was a colossal rush job with the combat system being weak(Level 20 Archer+Tactician could kill level 50 mobs, and armor didn't work well).

    AC1 success

    AC2 failure

    Will we see an AC3? I sure hope so.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aapold ( 753705 )
      You can't establish a star-trek movie wave (alternating good and bad with odd/even iterations) with only two sample points.

      Given just two points, what you can plot from them is a line, and in this case it is a line plummeting downwards.
    • I second it.. I loved AC1... I liked AC2 until they started nerfing tactician... Yeah, I realize it was pretty powerful but it was a minority which took advantage of that class and forced the dev's to nerf it.

  • Damn... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn ( 203771 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:02PM (#31840880) Homepage Journal

    Damn that is kinda shady. Oh well, I've been needing to clear of some space on the old hard drive, & that's a really good reason for DDO to go.

    • Ditto.

      I had both LotRO and DDO installed.

      LotRO was a real letdown once you got to level 40. It turned into a HUGE grind. I didn't think it possible to be more of a grind then WoW, but LotRO proved it was.

      The one thing I DID like about LotRO was the fact that they followed the "feel" of the books pretty well. I was told by a friend that it was because the IP holders of the LotR franchise demanded that they have a say in the creative process to ensure that Turbine didn't mangle the franchise.

      It would not surp

      • I didn't think it possible to be more of a grind then WoW

        The original EverQuest laughs at your innocence.

        • by meglon ( 1001833 )
          I played EQ for 6 years, starting pre-Kunark, and am constantly amazed by DDO players that think WoW is bad because it's simple and easy, and DDO is good because it's hard and oh so challenging. Anyone up for a 36 hour Hate raid, or are you all still in that 15 hour Fear corpse recovery?
  • by dschl ( 57168 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:52PM (#31841182) Homepage

    Due to the outcry from their customers, Turbine has taken the Offer Wall down [ddo.com] while they sort out the issues that arose due to the half-assed broken way they implemented this lame idea.

    I am probably part of the target audience they hoped to attract when they went free to play - someone who hadn't played an MMO before, who had played a bit of pen and paper way back when, and who has disposable income that they are willing to spend if the game is fun enough. So far, it has worked well - I have spent $200 on the game in the past five months on my account and my son's account.

    I don't want to deal with a company that I cannot trust, or leave my credit card information in their hands. I absolutely do NOT trust lowlife criminal scum like SuperRewards, and by extension, I do not trust any company that has any dealings with them whatsoever. That means you, Turbine.

    I know better than to take any of those offers, but Turbine royally screwed up in their implementation. Even viewing the list of offers on the Turbine site meant that my email address and account name for login was likely transmitted to those parasitic bottom-feeders.

    I'll still be playing the game as I bought a ton of content that I have yet to explore, but I will be getting Turbine to remove my credit card info from their billing system if this isn't fixed, and a formal apology issued to their customers by next week. I seriously love this game - it is a ton of fun, many of the players are older, and I don't have to worry about most forms of griefing or PvP emphasis that has kept me away from the entire MMO genre so far. I get to explore instanced dungeons in a small group, and have only explored less than a quarter of the content.

    Time to turn the heat up to eleven - DDO players haven't killed it for good yet, or received a formal apology for this privacy breach. Group seppuku by the PHBs who thought up this scheme would be an entirely acceptable response at this time, and would go a long ways towards restoring confidence in the company.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Barny ( 103770 )

      I can't trust them for a whole other reason.

      When the game first launched, I borrowed my friends account to play with (he plays in a different time zone), I made a mage class (not sure what it was at the time) and went to kill my first mob, I cast "Magic Missile" and... it missed.

      Now I know its been fixed, but anyone who could cock-up the most BASIC of DnD spell at launch that badly I just couldn't trust not to screw up other things in equally bad ways.

      • by dschl ( 57168 )

        The last time I played D&D was over 20 years ago. The rules have changed significantly since AD&D (DDO is based on 3.5), and none of the minutia remained in my memory.

        I didn't have a detailed pre-existing mental picture of how the game should work when I downloaded it last year and started playing. Instead, the game met and exceeded my hazy recollections, and then some. I don't have to use my imagination for the video game version, but the convenience of assembling a group, the ability to play anyti

      • Maybe they just jumped the gun on the 4.0 rules.
      • That's what got me too. They based the game very loosely on 3.5 edition rules. I had played 3.5 enough to have set expectations of how the game would work. When it didn't function as I expected, I got frustrated and annoyed. Afterall, combat in DND is supposed to be more tactical, and less hack and slash, but making bosses competely IMMUNE to CC?! That eliminates 90% of the tactical options, and 99% of the fun. All that is left is hack, hack, hack.
    • Honestly, i've been a Turbine customer before back in the Asheron's Call days. Secretly i'll even admit that I had the most fun of any MMORPG playing AC. Anyways, I noticed the ad saying DDO was free to play and I was going to install it.

      Unless the company comes clean and offers a real answer, then there is no way i'll install DDO or any future game they make.

    • That sounds like my story. I tried EQ, and some other online game (don't remember which). DDO gets a lot right - giving you private instances of dungeons, no gruntwork (mining, crafting, whatever) required to succeed, etc, etc. A fun game, and "free" play means that our family has spent more here than we did at EQ in monthly fees.With EQ, I really resented the weeks when I was paying but had no time to play. The attraction of the DDO model is being able to choose if and when you payg.

      This sort of arrangem

    • You payed 200, for 5 months. At 15 per month P2P, it would have cost you 150 for TWO subscriptions. Since the game is old, you could pick it up for a tenner or less.

      So, F2P, is more expensive.

      Geez, who would have figured. Nickles and Dimes. They add up.

      • by dschl ( 57168 )

        Your calculations need to look forward as well. I have over $50 in Turbine Points (non-tradeable currency that can only be used in the Turbine store to buy adventure packs and account features) just sitting there waiting to be spent. I can now play all of the best content in the game until the servers are shut down without spending another penny. I've been playing for six months so far, and in another six months, the cost of my own account ($130) will be less than $11 per month, and dropping. Unless they re

  • by BigSlowTarget ( 325940 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:00PM (#31841522) Journal

    Does anyone else have an advertisement for DDO looming large in the upper right corner of Slashdot? Targeted advertising is creepy....

  • by steve buttgereit ( 644315 ) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @12:37AM (#31841928) Homepage

    ...and now that I have your attention let me explain that.

    Look, Turbine is a company. They exist to make profit and along the way they incur costs (taxes, hardware, bandwidth, employees). Finding new ways to monetize their product is the right and proper thing for them to do and, as a customer of their products, I wish them all the success in the world in that endeavor.

    The Offer Wall wasn't actually all that bad of an idea on the face of it... they offered a way for F2P players to get something that many, in these hard economic times, may not have even been able to do on their own... get some quick item store points with out laying out RL coin and doing so in a way that they didn't have to toy with game mechanics. Having said that... they were pretty stupid in the implementation.

    They clearly didn't understand the 'rewards marketing' industry they chose to rely on enough to find a competent partner (if they existed), they didn't put much time or effort into the solution... based on a complete read of the forums it looks very slapped together (an assumption on my part, not having seen it first hand), and they didn't give their customers much credit for thinking very deeply about these sorts of things (and given the complexity of the game, they clearly misunderstand their customers).

    As for me and my wife... we came to DDO because we are short on funds now-a-days and they provide a cheap way to be entertained without resorting to something like TV. We really like their game and the implementation (I'm an old AD&D player... so had to get use to it). We've even bought adventure packs from them. We'll give them a pass on this... that doesn't mean they will get a pass forever if they keep doing stupid stuff or if it's dramatic enough (as I'm sure some takers of their offer might feel). If they continue to fail to respect their customer base repeatedly they will fail themselves.... as well they should.

    In the meantime, I hope they've learned their lesson from this fiasco... and continue to provide a great game.


    • They clearly didn't understand the 'rewards marketing' industry they chose to rely on enough to find a competent partner (if they existed), they didn't put much time or effort into the solution... based on a complete read of the forums it looks very slapped together (an assumption on my part, not having seen it first hand)

      Your assumption is wrong.

      The implementation used is rather 'standard' for these practices and their are others being sued for this exact problem. I can't remember right off the top of my

      • Respectfully, what actually I assumed was different than what you contest.

        The ignorance or knowledge of the any of the participants is completely irrelevant to the end result in the absolute sense and my assumption was only related to the absolute end result in this case. I assumed that the implementation was slapped together based on an extensive reading of the forums: I made no other assumption. If 404 pages are appearing in addition to other problems, regardless of privacy issues and the like (which I

  • I liked Asheron's Call quite a bit, and Turbine was the first of the mass-market MMOGs not to take its customers for granted - Origin's (then EA's) Ultima Online management was clueless, and Verant's Everquest management was actively at war with its users.

    Recently with DDO, however, they installed a torrent client for updates. Lest you have visions of World of Warcraft's torrent client that actively fetches updates then stops when it's done, Turbine uses Pando's Media Booster, a torrent client that starts

  • They made the forum closed to non registered viewers not long ago. Guess they didn't want the rants to be public.

    Mythic's billing fiasco, this games marriage with spam and malware, what is it with online games this week?

  • by dschl ( 57168 ) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @01:38PM (#31847232) Homepage

    Turbine has announced [ddo.com] that they are dropping the wall, and they also apologized to their players.

    That only took a day or so from when the Offer Wall was introduced, which is reasonably fast by corporate standards.

    Thanks Turbine, for listening to the players, and for the apology. You make a great game, and I hope to continue playing it well into the future.

    Full text of the announcement:

    Turbine’s slogan is “Powered by Our Fans." That means more than just words to us. It’s a promise. We pride ourselves on listening closely to you, our players, and working with you to do what’s right.

    Turbine is continually looking for ways to stretch the boundaries of pricing and commerce models in our games. That’s the kind of thinking that lead to Founder’s pricing in LOTRO and the launch of Free-to-Play in DDO. We’re always focused on providing the best possible value to the widest group of players, but not if it compromises our relationship with our fans.

    Recently, we opened an Offer Wall with a selection of ads that got a strong negative response. There were also technical issues that raised valid questions about security. Overall it was a poor user experience that was not up to our standards, and for this we apologize.

    Based on your feedback, we’re stepping away from the ‘Offer’ category for now. We’ll keep exploring alternate ways for players who want points to get them. We’ll also continue to innovate in pricing and accessibility because that’s who we are. As of today, the Offer Wall is coming down. We’ll collect all the feedback we’ve received over the last few days and will use it to guide future decisions.

    Finally, there was a lot of speculation about how information such as your username or e-mail address was being used by our commerce partners. Ultimately we chose to pass the e-mail address to our commerce partners in the URL to facilitate e-mailing receipts to players. It went no further than that. Neither PlaySpan nor Super Rewards passed the information on. It was stored in the user database only and not transmitted to any of the companies who advertised via Super Rewards. Players who visited the page did not expose any new information to PlaySpan (our in-game store provider) that they did not already have.

    Even though this implementation did not constitute a technical breach of our privacy policy, we certainly understand the concerns that have been communicated to us and how seriously players take their privacy. As a result, the Super Rewards team has already removed the e-mail addresses from their user database. If we decide to return to the Offer category in the future we will certainly work with our partners to implement a better system than the one we tried this week.

    • Yes, they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar and took it out.

      Contrary to popular and modern belief, you do not praise them for taking their hand out of the cookie jar after you catch them.

      They still did wrong. They didn't do good. They are not your friend or buddy. They only took it down because that was after being caught it wasn't going to be profitable long term for them.

      Do not apologize unless you like being raped as long as they rapist apologizes afterwords.

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire